Human-animal relationships and ecocriticism: a study of the representation of animals in poetry from Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Mthatiwa, Syned Dale Makani
dc.date.accessioned 2011-11-21T12:28:55Z
dc.date.available 2011-11-21T12:28:55Z
dc.date.issued 2011-11-21
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/10813
dc.description Ph.D. Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, 2011 en_US
dc.description.abstract This study analyses the manner in which animals are represented in selected poetry from Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It discusses the various modes of animal representation the poets draw on, and the ideological influences on their manner of animal representation. It explores the kinds of poetic forms the poets employ in their representation of animals and examines the manner in which ecological or environmental issues are reflected in the poetry. Further, the study determines the extent to which the values expressed in the poems are consistent with, or different from, current ecological orthodoxies and the ways in which the metaphors generated in relation to animals influence the way we treat them. The study shows that in the selected poetry animals occupy a significant position in the poets’ exploration of social, psychological, political, and cultural issues. As symbols in, and subjects of, the poetry animals, in particular, and nature in general, function as tools for the poets’ conceptualisation and construction of a wide range of cultural, political, and philosophical ideas, including among others, issues of justice, identity, compassion, relational selfhood, heritage, and belonging to the cosmos. Hence, the animal figure in the poetry acts as a site for the convergence of a variety of concepts the poets mobilise to grapple with and understand relevant political, social, psychological and ecological ideas. The study advances the argument that studying animal representation in the selected poetry reveals a range of ecological sensibilities, as well as the limits of these, and opens a window through which to view and appreciate the poets’ conception, construction and handling of a variety of significant ideas about human to human relationships and human-animal/nature relationships. Further, the study argues that the poets’ social vision influences their animal representation and that their failures at times to fully see or address the connection between forms of abuse (nature and human) undercuts their liberationist quests in the poetry. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject ecocriticism en_US
dc.subject zoocriticism en_US
dc.subject ecophilosophy en_US
dc.subject animal en_US
dc.subject identity en_US
dc.subject belonging en_US
dc.subject resistance en_US
dc.subject ecology en_US
dc.subject inscription of identity en_US
dc.subject socio-political change en_US
dc.subject urban and rural landscapes en_US
dc.subject predation en_US
dc.subject compassionate representation en_US
dc.subject allegorical representation en_US
dc.title Human-animal relationships and ecocriticism: a study of the representation of animals in poetry from Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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